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Catastrophic Candy Branding

Skittles Relaunches Website as Twitter Search, Offensive Tweets Ensue

— March 2, 2009 — Marketing
I’m not sure this is what Skittles had in mind when they relaunched their website as a Twitter search. In theory, the idea was to turn Skittles.com into a one-stop shop for all Skittles-related activity on the Internet. In practice, however, Twitter users quickly learned that whatever they put in their tweet would be included on the front page of Skittles.com.

When I visited Skittles.com shortly before writing this story, the front page was literally flooded with racial epithets, one right after another, with the word ‘Skittles’ appended to the end of each tweet. I took a screenshot of what I saw; be advised that the first image in the gallery above is offensive.

A filter for the site’s feed probably would have been a good idea, but instead Skittles.com launched a pop-up disclaimer that forces you to enter your birth date and acknowledge that Skittles isn’t responsible for any of the information other people post on the site.

Is this a sufficient protection for Skittles? We’ll find out soon, I’m sure.
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